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Time certainly flies when you are waiting for a Quilty to come around. With the blink of an eye ,a year has vanished and now it is just over six months before the National Championships , the Tom Quilty Gold Cup .This event will be held from the Collie racecourse from the 18th to the 20th of September.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the Eastern States bushfires and we hope the disruption will not deter too many riders from travelling over to the West. Three rides to date in N.S.W. have been cancelled and there may be more due to the unfavourable events related from the fires.

 

Horses and riders have been rested over the summer . Some riders have been lucky enough to have gone away on holiday, whilst their horses have been content to lounge around their paddocks eating and sleeping.

By now most horses are legged up, a great gauge of well being and attitude , before the demands of the competition season begins.

Talking to W.A. riders they tell me the coming Quilty has been a three year plan in the making. Two seasons has given the horse time to learn how to use themselves efficiently and economically with the hope of attaining  optimum performance. Tuning to peak fitness for the Quilty will be the challenge for many without overdoing the training.

The WAERA ride season gets underway in Wilga, an old mill town in the south west, on March 14th. A full calender of 17 rides has been planned for 2020 with two 160km events being held before the Quilty. The first will be  at the Collie Quilty venue in early May followed by the State Championships in July at Dryandra woodland.

The Easter Marathon run from the Collie venue will test two new legs for the Quilty designed by course director Deb Ryan. A survey was conducted following the State Championships last year with feedback indicating the structure of the legs needed changing to allow for a more flowing ride.

These legs will be trialled at the marathon.

The TQ 2020 committee is running smoothly. Monthly meetings ensure all portfolios are achieving their goals within the timeline.It has been of great benefit that Collie has been used as a ride base for many years giving members the knowledge of tracks and the logistics surrounding the venue.

The sponsorship drive continues with a good many buckles already sponsored. Rug sponsorship is also proving very popular.

With such a proactive team major sponsors and grants have been secured . Major sponsors to date include  the Bendigo Bank in Collie, South 32 Worsley Alumina, Shire of Collie, Synergy, IRT and Premier Coal.

All the sponsors have been given every opportunity for promotion through social and print media. Four main street banners have been designed depicting the top four point riders from 2019 along with sponsor logos. These will go on display from August in Collie’s main street.

A fund raising raffle will also  offer great prizes including a weekend getaway, commissioned art work, a TQ 2020 firepit and a mega hamper. Every WA member will be given a book of raffle tickets to sell over the coming months.

The catering committee have an innovative presentation format which will include a sit down lunch which will incorporate presentations and formal speeches at this time. Evening entertainment will be a live band in the main marquee .

There is a commercial kitchen on site which will provide meals during the week to be supplemented by specialty food and coffee vans.

Ride nominations will open three months before the event around the 1st of June with a non refundable $100 deposit. Entries will close two weeks before on September 4th.

Camping fees are still under discussion along with ride entry fees.

West Coast Kia modelling the souvenir rug    photo credit Jane Radny